Sunday, 18 November 2012

More Cats and Killings

I could go on, though I try not to, about the various mistranslations I notice when Scandinavian programmes are aired on British TV. A particularly annoying one is of course when Forbrydelsen whether I, II or III) is translated as 'The Killing', when 'The Crime' would be more accurate, though obviously less dramatic. Clearly, the Danish producers of the programme have noticed this too and are having a bit of a laugh at the Brits, since killing is the Danish word for 'kitten' (cf Old Norse kettlingr), and they have accordingly introduced a sub-plot revolving around a kitten into the latest, and last series. Still, I happily settled down last night to watch Forbrydelsen III wearing my very own Faroese woollie (pictured). Not quite as glamorous as Sarah Lund's snowflake or more modern zigzag versions, but purchased in the Faroes as long ago as 2001, long before the words Nordic Noir were on everyone's lips.


  1. Ketling is still Orcadian for kitten. One of my favourite Orcadian phrases: 'A guppen of peedie ketlings' - 'A double handful of small kittens'...

    1. Thanks for this - a lovely image. Though I'm trying to imagine either very large hands, or just a small litter. Or very, very peedie ketlings.

    2. Here's some more info on the Scots word kittlin:

  2. I read an article by Emma Kennedy recently, apparently she is a bit of an expert on the genre, the story of the title is rather complicated, apparently it was originally to be known as whatever the Danish word is for "killing" but then just before it was released a Danish film with the same title was released, and so it was changed in Danish to Forbrydelsen, but the original English title remained.
    But it's all over now, and wherever Sarah Lund ended up, she would have to ditch the Faroese woolly.